SUMMIT, NJ - The importance of developing and practicing a home escape plan -- as trumpeted in the themed 'Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out' -- is being communicated and reinforced to Summit community as Fire Prevention Week, October 8-14, is set to begin.
“Home escape planning is one of the most basic but critical elements of home fire safety,” explains Summit Fire Chief Eric Evers. “With planning and practice, you and your family will be able to take action immediately and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.”
In support of Fire Prevention Week, the Summit Fire Department encourages Summit residents to develop a plan and practice it. A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place that’s a safe distance from the home, such as a tree, light pole, or mailbox.
Chief Evers continues: “Today, due to modern furnishings and building construction, it only takes three to four minutes for smoke, heat, and fire to consume a room. This is five times faster than twenty years ago, and greatly reduces your chances of safely escaping a fire. Having a home escape plan and knowing how to use this small window of time wisely can make the difference between life and death in a fire situation.”
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years. The NFPA and Summit Fire Department are offering additional safety tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:
Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different exit paths.
Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
Close doors behind you as you leave; this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
The Summit Fire Department will be conducting fire prevention presentations during the month of October at Summit schools, senior centers, and community events. For more information about Fire Prevention Week activities in Summit, visit cityofsummit.org/fire or the Summit Fire Department's Facebook page located at facebook.com/City-of-Summit-Fire-Department-576347452376970/.